NBC News: Iceland's answer to gender equality: Compensate for differences between boys, girls

A girl jumps off a table while shouting "I am strong" at the Laufásborg kindergarten in Reykjavik, Iceland.Brynjar Gunnarsson / for NBC News

REYKJAVIK, Iceland — Elia climbed onto the table in front of her classmates. She threw her fists into the air and jumped on to the blue mats below.

“I am strong,” the 3-year-old said, her eyes alight with pride and exhilaration.

On the other side of this nursery school in the chic neighborhood of Laufásborg, boys were practicing having “gentle hands” by massaging each other with lotion.

Iceland is consistently ranked first in the world for gender equality. But the Hjalli teaching model, as practiced in the nursery school, is considered progressive even in Iceland.

Kristin Cardew